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ParentsGuide Issaquah 2010

Supplement to The IssaquahPress

• Bilingual babies - language classes for tots • Birth of a baby - a father’s perspective • Middle School - preparing for the transition

• E-Addiction - unplugging the kids • Sports for all - how young, which ones • Children’s books - librarians’ new picks


A LOOK AT PARENTING AND ISSAQUAH-AREA RESOURCES

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Table of contents 4 8 10 12 16 22 24 28 30 34 36 37 38 40 42

B ri n g i n g u p b i l i n g u a l b a by Soak up some vitamin D Pa re n th o o d : ex p e c t th e u n ex p e c te d Find parenting resources Surviving middle school Spice up sto r y time Ke e p k i d s u np l u g ge d Point, click , learn When are kids ready for sports? Choose health, nutrition M a k e f e e t h a p p y, h e a l t h y L i ste n u p fo r h e a ri n g l o s s C o l l e g e s av i n g s s t a r t n ow H e l p ch i l d re n fi n d a n i ch e F i n a n c e s 101

Publisher Debbie Berto Advertising manager Jill Green Advertising staff Neil Buchsbaum Michelle Comeau Suzanne Haynes Vickie Singsaas Felecia Tomlinson Managing editor Kathleen R. Merrill Production Breann Getty Dona Mokin Page design David Hayes Writers Laura Geggel Warren Kagarise Tim Pfarr Sebastian Moraga Cover design Dona Mokin A SPECIAL SECTION OF

THE ISSAQUAH PRESS 45 Front St. S. P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 392-6434 Fax: 391-1541 www.issaquahpress.com

Stop your child’s learning struggles! If your child struggles to learn or read, consider this... tutoring is temporary. It is designed to help with problems in specific subjects, but does little to address the underlying reason your child struggles in the first place. Brain training exercises target your child’s weaknesses. LearningRx provides dramatic changes in learning abilities and performance. The result?...A lifetime of better learning! “My LearningRx trainer helped me learn HOW to learn. I now have better grades, higher self esteem and my love of learning skyrocketed! LearningRx changed my life” Ryan – Issaquah, WA

Photo, this page Gary Giza Cover photo Susan Stainsby


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By Greg Farrar

Xinyang Liu (right), a teacher at the Sponge language school in Issaquah, speaks in Mandarin to two youngsters in a class with their mothers. From left, Michelle Robertson, daughter Grace, Kai Marcelais and his mother Lin, hear dozens of vocabulary words for colors, toys and objects.

Bringing up bilingual baby By Laura Geggel

Infants and toddlers learn foreign language best through early play

our-year-old Paul Kerdel speaks English with his father and French with his mother and au pair. The Issaquah boy did not always have such fluency, but developed it as French permeated his household. The Kerdels knew they wanted their children to speak French. Karinne Kerdel grew up in France, and she lived there with her American husband for three months before they moved to New York and then Issaquah. They tried speaking French in front of Paul, but at the end of the day, it was easier speak-

F

“You don’t need fancy toys, you just need to interact.” Gina Lebedeva University of Washington

ing in English, Kerdel said. She spoke to him in French before bed, but “even though I was trying to speak French to him at night, he was speaking English 10 hours a day,” at home and at preschool, she said. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Anne-Sophie, in 2009, they hired French au pair Emilie Uteza, a childcare worker who knew Kerdel’s family in France. The family also started sending Paul to the French

American School of Puget Sound on Mercer Island, so “he’s speaking French all day,” Kerdel said. Even Anne-Sophie, still in her babbling stage, has benefited from the family’s French movement. Her first word, cou cou, means hi and peekaboo in French. If Paul and Anne-Sophie master French, they will be able to speak with their grandparents and cousins and, once they are old enough, decide which country they would like to live in. “When they’re little, it’s amazing how they catch on,” Kerdel said. Learning through play Many children can learn a


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foreign language, and they learn best through play early in life. Since 2003, the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences has researched the fundamental principles of human learning, especially children between infancy and age 5. “We think that the brain is more plastic, or more open to experience learning — the earlier the better,” Gina Lebedeva, translation outreach and education director with the institute, said. By 10 months of age, the babbling of infants reflects their mother language, and researchers have found this is when they start to lose the ability to distinguish sounds not needed in their language. For instance, the sounds of L and R are the same in Japanese, but English-speakers must learn to distinguish the difference between the two letters for rake and lake. While windows for learning different aspects of language are not rigid, research has shown that infants learn most about sounds, called phonetics, in their first year of life, and learn more about syntax between 18 months and 36 months, according to a research paper from the institute by Patricia Kuhl. Vocabulary development skyrockets at 18 months of age, but can continue throughout life, she wrote. “At 6 months, babies are universal citizens of the world,” Jackie Friedman Mighdoll, founder of Sponge language school, said. “They can distinguish any sound about the same. By 12 months, the neurons in their brains have been pruned, so they recognize their native language and they are less able to distinguish other sounds from other languages.” How babies learn language is pivotal to their success in its fluency. Social interaction is a must, meaning children watching DVDs or listening to CDs will not get the same results as children interacting with a person speaking the language to them. “You don’t need fancy toys. You just need to interact,” Lebedeva said.

In a recent study published by the institute, a group of 9to 11-month-old infants was brought to the institute, where they interacted with a native Mandarin speaker for 12 30minute sessions. A control set of infants was exposed to Mandarin DVDs, a second control group listened to CDs and a third control group interacted with English speakers. The group that played with the English speakers showed

no sign of learning Mandarin, and neither did the group exposed to the DVD or CD, even though the children had shown rapt attention to both. The relationship between the speaker and child makes all of the difference, Lebedeva said. The child can follow the adult’s gaze, imitate their speech and movements, and receive feedback. “If a child laughs, an adult laughs. There is an engagement,” Lebedeva said. “That

doesn’t happen in a TV interaction and that doesn’t happen in a CD interaction.” Learning a foreign language happens best during bath or meal time, she said, adding, “It’s counter-productive to use things like flash cards and drills. Instead you want to build things into play.” Affects of a second language Children learning two lan-

Continued on Page 6

By Greg Farrar

Paul Kerdel, 4 (right), works on an art activity with his French au pair, Emilie Uteza, at the Kerdel family’s Issaquah Highlands home.


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From Page 5 guages may have smaller vocabularies in one or both languages, compared to children learning only one language, Lebedeva said. Yet, when words from both languages are counted, bilingual children have either about the same or more words compared to monolingual children, she said. Sometimes, bilingual children will mix their languages together, and Lebedeva said this is a normal stage bilingual children go through that helps them develop language skills. Playing in Issaquah Parents can find a variety of language-friendly play areas in the city. The King County Library System hosts free, 30minute story times in 10 languages at its various branches. The Issaquah Library has Spanish story time at 7 p.m. every Monday. Go to the website at www.kcls.org for more details. Cecilia McGowan, KCLS coordinator for children’s services, said the program targets children whose families speak a foreign language, and children who are learning a foreign language. Several language schools in Issaquah teach children about different languages and cultures. One of them, Sponge, teaches children through play, song and dance. At a recent Mandarin lesson, teacher Xinyang Liu played with 9-month-old Grace Robertson and 2-year-old Kai Marcelais, showing them toy farm animals and talking to them in her native tongue. Their mothers played, too, surrounding their children with Mandarin words. Friedman Mighdoll said she and the instructors live for moments when children spontaneously speak in a foreign language. Art projects with their toddler students are speckled with foreign phrases about the most ordinary things, like saying, “Can you pass the glue?” in Spanish. Parents are given handouts so they can review vocabulary and songs their children learned in class, she said. Other parents join neighbor-

By Greg Farrar

Paul Kerdel, 4 (left), au pair Emilie Uteza, Anne-Sophie Kerdel, 14 months, and the youngsters’ mother, Karinne Kerdel, look on as Anne-Sophie has a snack. hood language groups, or spend time with friends who speak a foreign language. The Issaquah Highlands Playgroup meets every Thursday from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Eastside Fire & Rescue fire station, 1280 N.E. Park Drive. E-mail Natalia Santi at natalia@santilive.com to learn more. A fine balance Andrea Noon, a Spanish teacher at Issaquah High School, studied Spanish in college and traveled across Chile and Spain as a young adult. When she and her Mexican husband had their daughter, Leila Ramirez, they decided to teach her both Spanish and English, so she could communicate with both sides of the family. When a Spanish-speaking friend of hers babysat Leila for the first two and a half years of her life, Leila’s Spanish blossomed so much that her parents began to worry about her English. Now age 4, Leila’s English is by far better than her Spanish, though she improves every time she spends time with native Spanish speakers, like friends of the family. “I’m excited when Leila goes to play with them, because her Spanish improves in 15 to 20 minutes,” Noon said.

By Greg Farrar

Lin Marcelais and her son Kai, 2, look in a pig puppet’s mouth while dropping toy vegetables inside, as teacher Xinyang Liu uses Mandarin vocabulary words.


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As a Spanish teacher, Noon said she recognizes two types of students with a previous knowledge of the language. There are students who grew up speaking Spanish, “and their parents have done a really good job educating them in reading and writing,” Noon said. The other type includes students who speak Spanish at home, “but there is not really an emphasis on the educational side. They might have never seen it written,” she said. While this last group may speak the language conversationally, “usually their level of Spanish is weak grammatically and they have a lot of misconceptions about it,” Noon said. Noon said she hopes Leila will speak and read Spanish fluently, though she knows she and her husband will have to use the language regularly at home if they want their daughter to follow suit. Kerdel, the French mother, acknowledged the challenge of sticking with a foreign language. “I think children tend to go with what’s easier, and English is everywhere,” she said. The benefits of a polyglot The most obvious benefit of speaking a foreign language is obvious to most. Speaking French, Spanish or Mandarin can help children communicate with others and could expand their circle of friends, as well as career opportunities. Friedman Mighdoll said she feels a thrill when her two children say hello to people in Seattle’s International District. Other benefits are not as readily observed. A recent study published by the institute at the University of Washington showed that bilingual children tend to think more flexibly. “It doesn’t mean that bilingual people are smarter, that they have a bigger memory, that they have bigger IQ,” Lebedeva said. “What it does mean is that there are certain skills that bilinguals are better at.” Bilingual children playing a game were able to adjust to a change in rules faster than nonbilingual children, accord-

Continued on Page 8

Paul Kerdel tries out his Darth Vader costume for Halloween as the Kerdel family’s French au pair, Emilie Uteza, looks on. By Greg Farrar

5 GREATEST DANGERS FACING OUR CHILDREN TODAY 1. LACK OF EXERCISE Obesity and physical inactivity are two main risk factors of Type 2 diabetes in children.

2. POOR DIET HABITS Unhealthy eating habits are predisposing children to serious illness, including heart disease.

3. PEER PRESSURE Children are encouraged to engage in unacceptable or unsafe behavior to ‘fit in.’

4. BULLYING Children that experience peer harassment are more likely to suffer from decreased self-worth and depression.

5. LACK OF MOTIVATION Many children’s lives lack direction because they haven’t been taught how to set worthy goals. At Karate West, we understand these concerns and have solutions for parents. For over 20 years we have been helping children build strong minds and bodies. “Enrolling our children at Karate West was one of the best things we could have done to positively affect their future.” – Karate West parent To learn more about Karate West’s award winning programs and the beginner classes starting now, call Sammamish 425.391.4444 or Mercer Island 206.232.4477. Visit us at karatewest.com.

LEADERS IN PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT


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Is your baby getting enough vitamin D? You take her to regular checkups, monitor her nutrition, provide plenty of cuddle time and stimulation, and keep her out of the sun. But is your newborn really getting everything she needs to thrive? More likely than not, she is not getting enough vitamin D, according to studies published by a leading group of doctors. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D supports the growth of healthy bones in infants and assists with maintaining functions of their brain, heart and various muscle tissues. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a disorder that weakens the bones and becomes apparent during infancy or childhood. “Vitamin D is not only important in bone health, but emerging data support its role in maintaining our immunity and preventing diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Unfortunately, many infants are not receiving adequate levels of vitamin D

from breast milk, formula or synthesis from sunlight,” said Dr. Scott Cohen, a pediatrician and author of the book “Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Child’s First Year.” For many people, exposure to sunlight is the body’s way of producing vitamin D. But many others, including children being protected from the sun or those with darker skin, need supplemental vitamin D. In 2008 the American Academy of Pediatricians revised its recommendations regarding vitamin D, saying that all children, including newborns, should receive 400 IU a day of vitamin D — double the previously recommended level. Follow-up studies published this year in the organization’s scientific journal, “Pediatrics,” showed that most children are not receiving vitamin D levels that meet the 2008 recommendations. According to data reported in the two studies published in “Pediatrics,” less than 13 percent of

infants exclusively breastfed were meeting the daily recommendation of vitamin D. Yet less than 16 percent of infants who were exclusively or predominantly breastfed were receiving supplemental vitamin D. Ensuring your baby gets enough vitamin D can seem challenging, regardless of whether you feed your child breast milk, infant formula or a combination. So what should you do? Here are a few simple ways to help ensure your baby gets enough vitamin D: ❑ If you breast feed, talk with your pediatrician to determine whether you should add a vitamin D supplement. While it is the gold standard for infant nutrition, breast milk by itself generally will not supply your baby with enough vitamin D to meet the AAP recommended levels. ❑ If you formula feed or partially formula feed your baby, you also should talk with your doctor. Standard infant formulas include 400 IU of vitamin D in 34 fluid ounces, but most babies consume an average of approximately 27 fluid ounces of formula a day over the course of their first three months of life. Look for a formula that supplies 400 IU in fewer fluid ounces, or talk with your doctor about supplements. ❑ Remember that your child’s need for vitamin D does not stop when he or she transitions to solid foods. Continue the conversation with your doctor and choose foods and drinks that contain vitamin D, including milk and milk-based beverages designed for toddlers. Source: ARA Content

From Page 7 ing to the study. In one game, children were asked to sort objects by color. Then, the rules changed and children had to sort them by shape, though some children got confused since some of the shapes were red and others were blue. “In order to do that, you have to ignore the first set of rules and use the second set of rules,” Lebedeva said. “Bilingual kids don’t get as confused.” The answer to why may lie within the child’s prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that allows him or her to switch back and forth between two languages with variations in words, pronunciation and grammatical structure. To get to that point of fluency, Lebedeva prescribed children a healthy dose of foreign language playtime. She instructed parents to follow the child’s lead, meaning, “if the child is interested in the ball, let’s talk about the ball and play with the ball,” she said. When children reach middle school, learning a second language is harder to master. “By the time seventh grade rolls around, it’s just too late for your brain to learn a second language as well as a native speaker would,” Lebedeva said. “You can learn vocabulary, but you’re never going to learn it as functionally and efficiently as a young child.”

• 8 years providing fun learning programs for children • Multicultural bilingual program • Academics emphasized in a warm and nurturing environment • Hands on learning • Lessons reinforced through art, dance and songs www.sammamishspanishpreschool.com • 425.898.7831 • 425.836.0212

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SnoValley Star reporter Sebastian Moraga napping with his first child, Cristián Matías, born Oct. 5, 2010. By Jeannie Moraga

Birth of baby By Sebastian Moraga My name is Sebastian Moraga, I was born in 1979 and I am 41 years old. No, the math is right. On Oct. 5, I watched my first child being born and I aged 10 years in about an hour. It all started at about 10 p.m. Oct. 4, when the doctor looked at me and said “he’s not coming out.” That meant one thing: forceps. Now, imagine the inventor of the surgical tool the forceps replaced and made obsolete — if such a thing ever existed. Let’s call it “The Thingy.” Well, you take the inventor of “The Thingy” on a bad day at the office, and I’m still more anti-forceps than he is. I grew up around horror stories of cousins whose lives were forever changed by what Bill Cosby

calls “the salad spoons,” and I had decided long ago not to add my son to the family’s list of cautionary tales. But I had seen my unborn child’s heart rate climb to 210, I had seen the nurses put cold washcloths on my wife’s forehead and an oxygen mask on her face, and I had the feeling things could worsen. So, maybe… Then, I saw the actual forceps. Oh, hell no. I had never seen forceps before. They looked like something you use when you want to know where someone hid the money. No way that thing was going to be used on my child and he was going to be OK afterward. I suggested the suction

forceps

How a new dad’s life changed with his son’s arrival method, and the doctor turned me down, saying my child’s head was too hairy for the suction cup to work. I am buying industrial amounts of Nioxin every month so I don’t die bald, and my son is too hairy to be born. My wife and I had talked about forceps prior to the birth and we had both decided that it would be a last resort. In fact, we would likely use “The Thingy” first. But this was different. This wasn’t a chat inside the stillunused nursery or inside Target shopping for bibs. This was the real thing. The heart rate kept climbing, my wife’s forehead kept dripping, and the more I thought about it, the more worked up I got. Then, the next contraction hit. My wife pushed three times. No baby. I wish I could tell you there was a Hollywood moment that convinced me, complete with

background music and closeups, Mr. DeMille. But there wasn’t. All I remember clearly is feeling my wife’s hand in mine and me thinking about my dad. Back in 1979, my dad faced the same dilemma. He also had an unborn son who would not come out. He also hated forceps, and he also had a wife whose health was in danger. He told the doctor, “You do what you have to do to save my wife and my kid.” So, 41 years later, I turned to my wife’s doc and I said the same thing. The doctor went ahead and started putting the forceps together. I didn’t feel one bit better. I thought, “Who do I go to for forgiveness now? If the forceps do what I fear they will do, how do I explain to my son that it was my call to alter the course of his life before it even began? Where do I get the gall to explain the ultimate in ‘it seemed like a good idea at the


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time?’” The need for answers weakened me, so I sat down for a second. Now, my eyes were forceps-height. Suddenly, that cushioned stool felt like Old Sparky. I got right back up. Then, the two forceps clicked. The most horrifying sound I’ve ever heard in my life, and it sounded like nothing worse than perhaps four or five people snapping their fingers at once. That’s how worked up I was. Then, the next contraction hit. And the spot of stubborn hair became a forehead flanked by two pieces of metal. And the forehead became a head, and the head became an upper body and the upper body became 20.5 inches of the handsomest anyone ever looked while covered in Lord knows what. Twenty-three hours of labor and he was here, screaming for average and for distance, sporting the long, wrinkled Moraga toes that so delighted his grandfather when he saw them on me 41 years earlier. And what do you know, without a forceps mark on him. I didn’t cry. I didn’t laugh. I

didn’t scream. All I remember is standing there, smiling, completely lost in the moment, staring at my new love and wanting to keep staring at him like that until his fifth birthday. So lost I was that my wife later told me she wondered if I would ever grab the camera. I thanked the doctor, kissed my wife and I apologized to them for being so nutty over the forceps. Then, after about a hundred photos, I called my mother, who cried with me, congratulated me and then screamed at me for letting the doctor use forceps. My son was well into his lung workout, so I didn’t hear much of what she said. I walked for a while, until I found my mother-in-law, one of my brothers-in-law and my wife’s best friend, who hugged me like I had just found their wallet, glasses and pet. We walked back to the delivery room, and while they talked to my wife, I sat down again. That’s when it hit me. I tried to get back up, and while I knew this wasn’t Old Sparky, the clamps were on. It was all business now. I

had a son. Playtime now belongs to someone else. I had stopped living my life and become a supporting actor in someone else’s story. I have to impart wisdom even when I have none for myself. I had no idea what to say at first. So I said everything. I called him pet names, goofy names, sang him songs while I changed diapers, talked to him in English and read to him in Spanish. Not Dr. Seuss, but he loved it. OK, maybe I did. He slept. But I claimed ownership. I figured the worst that could happen is he stains a few shirts with his meals, I stain a few onesies with my drool and we get used to each other. On the third day, the jaun-

dice hit and he spent his day with a mask on, a diaper on and nothing else. He let us know right away that that was no way to start a life. Then, I talked to him. Nothing clever. “What happened, Matías?” I asked twice, using his middle name because I like it better than his first. And then, the tiny fellow with masked eyes and little clothing recognized my voice and stopped crying. I could not believe it. He stirred a bit and fell asleep, leaving behind the cold of the room, the darkness of the mask and a 41-year-old 30something looking at his own shoulder for a place to stick his first stripe.

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The right list of resources means never having to parent alone Al-Anon/Alateen

For men, women and teenagers who have friends or family members with a drinking problem — meets at 10 a.m. Thursdays at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 745 Front St. Call 206-625-0000 or go to www.seattle-al-anon.org.

Bridging the Gap at Kindering Center Bridging the Gap at Kindering Center is a community of women raising children 6 and older with special needs — sharing resources, emotional support, networking, promoting advocacy and creating connections. It meets from 6:308:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday. Call 6534322 or e-mail jenny.peterson@kindering.org.

Childcare Resources Childcare Resources will help you identify childcare options in your area. There is an income-based fee. Call the referral line at 206-329-5544 or 1-877-512-3948 toll free, or go to www.childcare.org.

Healthy Start Healthy Start is a parenting education and support program for young families designed for parents, age 22 or younger, who are parenting their first child. Program benefits include home visits, group activities, developmental and health screenings, and referrals to community resources. Call 885-9375.

Eastside Mothers & More Eastside Mothers & More is a social network for all mothers. The group meets several evenings per month for adult interaction and fun. Learn more at www.eastsidemothersandmore.org.

The Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers The Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers Birth-to-3 program provides therapeutic developmental services for children with special needs. It starts with a multidisciplinary team, including speech, occupational and physical therapists, early-childhood development specialists and family re-

source coordinators. The team conducts standardized assessments and helps families plan an individualized program for their children. Call 888-2777, ext. 230, or go to www.encompassnw.org.

Mom’s Moment Mom’s Moment is a support group for parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Participants gather to share information regarding resources and, most importantly, camaraderie with others in a similar situation. Find meeting locations and details at www.encompassnw.org.

Fathers Network Fathers Network provides peer support, resources and education, as well as social events


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for fathers of special-needs children and for those having children with special health concerns. Call 653-4286.

First Choice In-Home Care First Choice In-Home Care is dedicated to providing responsive, respectful and caring support to vulnerable adults and children and adults with disabilities. Call 747-5000 or go to www.fcihc.com.

Friends of Youth Friends of Youth provides a wide range of services for youths and young adults ages 6-24 — and their families — in King County, overseeing eight programs at 20 sites and serving between 10,000 and 15,000 teens, young adults, parents and families each year. In addition to operating the only overnight youth shelters on the Eastside, it offers youth development initiatives, inBy Julie Akers Bannerman

Continued on Page 14

Helen Bannerman (right) and her grandson Alexander Bannerman enjoy a Popsicle.

Re-Opening Promo Rates Creative • Rhythmic • Ballet • Acting Bollywood • Belly • Fitness • Russian Language

Sound Ballet Theatre Faith Mother’s Day Out

Our commitment is to the whole child – academic, emotional and spiritual.

Rhythmic Gymnastics, Dance and Art Center

Learn more at www.soundballet.org info@soundballet.org 425.677.4058 Location: 172 N Front St., Issaquah Ages: Children 3 years through adults

• Ages 20 mos. to Pre-K • 9:30 am - 1:00 pm (M, T, Th & F) • Specialist classes weekly: Sing, Swing & Sway; Jump, Jiggle & Jog; & Chapel Time Registration in late January 2011. Call or email now for a tour appointment.

425-392-0123 x3 www.inthebeginning@faithunited.org

Bring your child in for a thorough vision exam with Amy L. Riskedahl, O.D.


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From Page 13 home family support for young parents of newborns, parent education, youth and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment, and transitional housing for homeless young people and teen mothers. The Issaquah office is at 414 Front St. N. Call 3926367 or go to www.friendsofyouth.org.

Toddler Time Issaquah Parks and Recreation Department — “Toddler Time,” for children ages 1-3, is from 8 a.m. – noon Mondays through Fridays. This daytime class with an indoor playground lets children play and parents get a chance to bond. Fee is $2 per child. Call 8373300.

The Cancer Lifeline Program The Cancer Lifeline Program, in cooperation with Overlake and Evergreen hospitals, is for children ages 6-12 whose parent or other significant family member has cancer. Call 206-297-2500 or 800255-2505 toll free.

The Kinship Care Program The Kinship Care Program helps kinship caregivers understand and navigate the services available for children living with relatives other than their own parents. Call 800737-0617 toll-free or go to www.dshs.wa.gov/kinshipcare.

Moms in Touch Moms in Touch — Mothers

meet, grouped by area school, for one hour each week to pray for school concerns, teachers and for their children. Call 800-949-MOMS toll free or go to www.momsintouch.org to find a local group near you.

MOMS Club of Sammamish MOMS Club of Sammamish gets moms and their children together for mom activities and kid activities, including playgroups divided by age. Go to http://momsclubsammamish.org.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is for mothers with children from infancy through kindergarten. Moms have the opportunity to share

concerns, explore areas of creativity and learn from various speakers. Find a group near you at www.MOPS.org.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Eastside The National Alliance on Mental Illness Eastside mission is to improve the quality of life of persons affected by acute and chronic mental illness through support, education and advocacy. Services include support groups, education forums, classes and more. All programs are free. Call 8856264 or e-mail info@nami-eastside.org.

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a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Bellevue Community College Parent Education Program, combining parent education with an interactive program for parents and their children. Call 392-0496 or go to www.pinelakecoop.org.

el to young people who are struggling with their academic, social or personal lives. SUCCESS mentors encourage youths to develop the skills and qualities they need to be successful in life, help them build self-esteem and provide

them with continual support and guidance. Gay/lesbian youth, anger management and parenting support groups are available. Counseling, case management, information and referral, and cultural adaptation

Youth Eastside Services Youth Eastside Services is a lifeline for kids and families coping with challenges such as emotional distress, substance abuse and violence. Through intervention, outreach and prevention, YES builds confidence and responsibility, strengthens family relationships, and advocates for a safer community that cares for its youth. The SUCCESS Mentoring Program recruits caring adults to serve as a positive role mod-

Snoqualmie Springs School “Foundation Education�

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Eastside Pediatric Dental Group

programs are available for immigrant and refugee youth and families. Prevention programs are offered at no charge. Call 747-4937 or go to www.youtheastsideservices.org.


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By Greg Farrar

Pine Lake Middle School sixth-graders flock to their lockers recently at the end of their school day, two months into their new routine.

Getting stuck in the middle Avoid headaches in the transition from elementary to middle school By Greg Farrar

The spontaneous hubbub for sixth-graders after school is a big change from lining up by classroom in their previous elementary school experience.


PAGE 17 N O V E M B E R 2010

By Greg Farrar

A class of Sunset Elementary fifth-graders walks in line from their classroom to a music room.

Helpful strategies for school transitions

By Greg Farrar

Sunset Elementary School fifth-graders play soccer during their last year of having recess periods.

By Warren Kagarise Pimples can be tough enough, but the uncomfortable physiological changes on the horizon cannot compare to the other horror ahead: middle school. Despite the monumental nature of the transition from elementary school to middle school, experts said the experience does not need to cause tears to fall or stomachs to tie up in knots. “This is a challenging transition regardless of how well-adjusted your child is,” Pacific

Cascade Middle School counselor Sonja Petersen said. “This is going to be a challenge for all kids.” Challenging, yes, but not in the way grown-ups might expect. The most common question Issaquah School District Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele hears from fifth-graders poised to make the transition: “What’s it going to be like to dress down for P.E. class?” Other common concerns: becoming lost on campus, steer-

Continued on Page 18

This fall, some students faced more than a new school year — they faced a whole new school. Transition years, in which students move from elementary to middle school, and from middle school to high school, can be exciting and full of promise. But adjusting to greater academic challenges and a different social environment can be scary. Students may worry about making friends, peer pressure, getting lost and having a different teacher for each class. So, what can parents do to help children through this major change? Sylvan Learning offers the following tips: ❑ Get to know the school. Attend end-of-summer activities your school offers. There’s probably an open house — take your child, and invite one or two of his or her friends to go with you. If the school doesn’t have an open house, advocate for one. ❑ Roam around. Explore the campus. Have your child’s new schedule with you. Go to the classrooms, the restrooms, the cafeteria, the gym, the main office, the nurse’s office and the guidance suite. Note how long it takes to get from classroom to classroom. ❑ Be prepared. Buy a combination lock before school starts, and let your child practice locking and unlocking it. ❑ Be encouraging. Encourage your child to join clubs, teams and activities. This is a great way to make friends, discover new interests and talents, put down roots and build confidence. ❑ Know the teachers. Keep in periodic touch with teachers in person and through notes, e-mail or the school’s website. Know what they expect from students, when report cards come out, when major assignments are due and when tests are scheduled. Help keep your student on track by being persistent when necessary. ❑ Organize. Help your child stay ahead by setting goals, planning for important dates and events, and establishing homework and studying routines. Get additional resources and information about free seminars on “Transitions: Middle and High School” at www.sylvanlearning.com. Source: NewsUSA


PAGE 18 N O V E M B E R 2010

By Greg Farrar

Above, Jeff Jewell (center), teaching a Pine Lake Middle School sixth-grade tech class, has the attention of, from left, Shubh Singh, Collin Young and Coby Boulware. Below, Luke Hamblin, center, and Lucas Dolliver play outdoor musical instruments during fifth-grade recess on the Sunset Elementary School playground.

From Page 17 ing through lunch, slogging through a recess-free school day and — most terrifying of all — facing the threat of a swirly from a surly eighth-grader. “Big brothers are notorious for telling you that kids are going to get swirlies and things like that,” Thiele said. The fears subside, he said, after a handful of days as a middle schooler, in part because the district takes steps to prep fifth-graders for the leap. “What I’ve always told parents is, within the first few weeks, your elementary child will be a middle schooler, and truly, it’s usually within the first few days,” he added. Thiele, a former middle school teacher and administrator, said students start to feel more confident as they meet teachers and students, and be-


PAGE 19 N O V E M B E R 2010

come more accustomed to middle school life. “I always used to tell my staff, ‘Smile a lot in the beginning and be helpful,’” he said. But stress can build as students shift from a single classroom and a familiar teacher in fifth grade to a trek from middle school classroom to classroom throughout the day. “I think a lot of the stress of starting middle school for kids is around, ‘How do I do all of this? I’ve got six different classes and different things.’” Petersen continued. “So, kind of be able to boil it down at the end of the day and say, ‘OK, let’s take a deep breath and look at what happened in this class and what happened in that class.’” The key to success is to follow some basic steps to help students make the change. Petersen emphasizes organi-

Sunset Elementary School fifthgraders play a pick-up soccer match during the lunch recess. By Greg Farrar

Continued on Page 20

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From Page 19 zation as the trick to keep sixth-graders on track and not hyperventilating from the sudden increase in homework and extracurricular activities. Structure is important, as children learn to set aside time to tackle tougher assignments. “Middle school students really need a lot of guidance when it comes to organization,” she said. “I think we’d like them to just say, ‘Here’s your planner. Go use it,’ but they really need to learn how to do it, and they need to learn how to build that habit. It takes time.” The other trick to maintaining sanity: patience, patience, patience. Petersen said parents must remember to lighten up, too. “None of the teachers expect that parents are going to be able to help their students with all of their homework, but helping them to be organized,” she continued. The transition has also attracted attention from education leaders. Thiele, other district administrators and parents huddled in 2007 to examine the middle school experience and help students make the leap from small elementary classrooms to spread-out middle school campuses. Thiele said the crucial ele-

By Greg Farrar

A pan of Grandmother Opal’s Farmhouse Apple Cake cools on the stove in Gail Oseran’s sixth-grade culinary arts class at Pine Lake Middle School. mentary-to-middle school transition required special attention because of the physiological and structural changes — such as a busier school day — affecting students. So, teachers and administrators emphasize organization and preparedness, plus patience for parents. In doing so, the district has charted a path for parents and students similar to the guide-

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lines recommended by groups as varied as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Education Association, National Middle School Association and children’s book publisher Scholastic. The results appeared to be successful on Aug. 31 — the day hundreds of former fifthgraders descended onto middle school campuses in the Is-

saquah district. “I was at every one of our middle schools on the first day of school this year, and I did not see a single tear,” Thiele said. “That’s usually a good measure.” Remember: In only three years, students transition from middle school to the cliques and classrooms of high school.

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Take care of your child’s reading needs at the library By Ann Crewdson

ful squirrel who accompanies him through the forest, showing him who might be his mommy. Interviewing each animal he comes across brings him closer to his mother with the help of Squirrel.

With the price of food and gas still on the rise, buying books for your children is understandably not at the top of your list. Rather than make sacrifices, however, why not turn to your local library to meet your child’s essential reading needs? With a free library card, you can check out books before deciding what, based on how many times your child says, “Again, again!” whether to buy. Here’s a random sampling of brand new titles for zero dollars.

on an exploration through the bakery, music and art studios, market and a dog park — experiencing icing, dough, collages, maracas, accordions, peas and kale. She collects enough to write a special new twinkle twinkle song to sing with Peter.

“The Pout Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark” By Deborah Diesen Pout-Pout Fish is afraid of the dark. He wishes he could be faster, stronger and smarter so he can help Ms. Clam find her pearl, because he keeps his promises. While searching up and down the slopes and through the reefs, a sweet voice — a guiding light gives him clues to where it might be.

“The Boss Baby” By Marla Frazee Everyone knows who’s boss the moment the baby arrives but never before has it ever been put to us so bluntly and so comically. Parents — understanding bystanders tell us that having a baby is like having a second job, however, has anyone drawn a direct parallel? — those midnight meetings, those insane hours of work with no time off, the calls for juice 24/7 — all of it is very cute until one day boss baby calls from his baby monitor and gets no response. You won’t stop laughing when the baby decides to think outside of the box after discovering that he wasn’t getting results.

“Pepi Sings a New Song” By Laura Ljungkvist Pepi loves to sing songs to his human companion Peter when he stargazes. Every night, it’s the same tired old song. He goes

“Little Owl Lost” By Chris Haughton If you’re able to turn your neck 360 degrees, you’ll notice that owls are very popular this year. Little owl falls out of his nest, wanders around his forest and finds a help-


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“The Gobble Gobble Moooooo Tractor Book” By Jez Alborough Sheep, cat, turkey, goose, mouse and cow pretend to drive Farmer Dougal’s tractor a cappella — sheep with his baaa, turkey on gobble gobble and goose honking all the way. When cow adds his engine sound with a moo, the realism wakes the farmer and the animals flee.

“The Cow Loves Cookies”

be. Kulka’s humor comes through again in this rip roaring tale.

By Karma Wilson Illustrated by Marcellus Hall

“My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story”

The farmer knows what the horsey wants to eat, what the chickens need, what the geese crave and what the hogs slop up. Hay, feed, corn and slop are easy to come by, but what about cookies? The cow wants cookies and why does the farmer go out of his way to find them? Whatever it is, it has to be some sweet deal.

By Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell A mommy who can hang the moon and tie it up with string has only just begun to demonstrate her smallest of superpowers next to being able to grow food, bake cookies, write books and cure the sick. Momma is boss and good at everything, ruling the world on her throne as well. Your little ones will agree as you read each page filled with colorful pictures of rainbows, animals and the moon. Aliens drawn are smaller than a thermometer and the main character can be a girl or a boy.

“A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom!” By Jonathan London Illustrated by Denis Roche Applause for Jonathan London “KaZoom, Va-Room” for another book on transportation. Planes zip through the air — pink, yellow, gray — carrying freight, passenger and mail — and that makes a great tale. Follow in rhyme and sound as toddlers enjoy propellers and planes taking off while practicing being a pilot. In colorful pages, young toddlers learn the word, “plane” in different settings and finally soars into the night.

“Vacation’s Over! Return of the Dinosaurs” By Joe Kulka The dinosaurs return from enjoying their visit to other planets where they’ve been eating at lavish buffets, riding roller coasters and strolling alien shores for the last 65 million years to discover a Great Wall and nothing is the way it used to

“A Bedtime for Bear” By Bonny Becker Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton Bear was enjoying his usual quiet evening when an unexpected guest appears at his doorstep. He had forgotten he’d agreed to host an evening with Mouse, who had packed for a sleepover. After playing checkers and drinking hot cocoa, they retire upstairs with Bear, making clear he needed absolute silence. When mouse falls back into his natural animal instincts, can their friendship survive? Ann Crewdson is the children’s section supervisor at the Issaquah Library.


PAGE 24 N O V E M B E R 2010

Good technology gone bad Learn the signs of when your kids have been plugged in too long By Tim Pfarr id you have a grandmother who told you technological advances were sinister? Did you just discount her as merely being set in her ways and stuck in the 1950s? She may have been overlooking the obvious benefits of technology, but perhaps she had a point. While moderate usage of

D

video games, the Internet and cell phones can be harmless, excessive use can have adverse effects, especially on children. Marianne Goble, counselor at the Wise Heart Center for Psychotherapy in Issaquah, said one of the most important things for a parent to remember is that video games should not take the place of playtime, which is absolutely paramount

for children ages 4-12. She said the playtime should be away from electronics and in the physical presence of friends and parents. This playtime helps a child develop social skills, explore his or her own creativity, and develop an understanding of how others think and feel. Nonetheless, even electronic communication is preferable to no communication, such as when a child plays a solitary video game, she said. Cutting communication altogether isolates the child and stunts social skills, and the effect can extend into adulthood. “The impact is huge. It’s very, very huge,” Goble said. “A lot of people don’t get that.” She said children most often begin isolating themselves from ages 7-9, and it often comes as a result of something troubling in the child’s environment, such as bullying at school or arguments between parents at home.

Dealing with dependency By using electronics enough — socially or in isolation — a

dependency can develop, said

“The impact is huge. It’s very, very huge. A lot of people don’t get that.” Marianne Goble Wise Heart Center for Psychotherapy

Dr. Hilarie Cash, co-author of the book “Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control,” and co-founder of the Internet addiction recovery program Restart in Fall City. She said using electronics can release dopamine in the brain, which induces a feeling of pleasure. Excessive use builds up a tolerance in the brain, and when the chemical is taken away, one goes through withdrawal. For the developing brain of a child, such a chemical dependency can affect thought processes, perception of how the world works and resourcefulness, Cash said. In 2007, the American Medical Association discussed designating video game and Internet addiction as an official di-

Continued on Page 26


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Study: Video games develop social benefits Fears about video games often grab headlines, but a growing body of research shows that video games can actually be beneficial to your child’s development. Kids can learn academics, social interaction and cooperation and even history from video games, a new report shows. The study, spearheaded by Cheryl K. Olson, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Mental Health and Media in Boston, indicated video game benefits can include: ❑ Providing an outlet for creativity ❑ Allowing children and teens to try on roles (from new sports to different personalities or professions) in a safe environment ❑ Providing practice in planning and recognizing consequences ❑ Helping manage difficult emotions ❑ Promoting interest in exercise and sports ❑ Improving visual/spatial skills ❑ Nourishing self-esteem, pride and socialization skills So, how can parents ensure their children are reaping benefits from game playing, while avoiding possible negatives for their emotional and physical well-being? Experts agree on several points:

Get educated “One reason parents may be concerned about video games is that they don’t feel comfortable with the controls,” said Olson, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “A mom who’s not sure whether a comic book or a movie is appropriate for her child can flip or fast-forward through it. If she’s worried about a video game, but lacks the skill to play it, she’s left frustrated and a bit embarrassed.” Fortunately, parents can find plenty of resources online to help them better understand

a particular game and the affect it might have on their child, including: ❑ ESRB.org, the home page of the Entertainment Software Rating Board. The website allows parents to search for a specific game by title or publisher, learn its ESRB rating and why the board awarded that rating. The ESRB assigns ratings to help parents determine whether a game is appropriate for their child. ❑ Grandtheftchildhood.com, Olson’s website with information drawn from her book by the same name. The site explores a variety of issues relating to video games and offers perspective backed by Olson’s own research and the work of many others.

Keep an open mind Research has shown that video games can have many benefits for children, from building eye-hand coordination, to teaching important math, reading and spatial skills, to providing a means of socialization and an outlet for negative feelings. Children play video games for many reasons, Olson’s latest research shows. “It’s just fun” was the primary reason cited by both boys and girls for playing video games, but other reasons included the challenge of mastering the game, the joy of learning something new and the desire to relax. “Parents may worry about the appeal of violent content in games, but our research suggests that children enjoy video games more for the chance to figure out problems, express creativity, compete with friends and even teach friends how to play,” Olson noted. “A game doesn’t have to be labeled ‘educational’ to benefit children. For example, recent games such as ‘Bakugan’ and the ‘Professor Layton’ series build problem-solving skills, and sneak in a fair amount of reading.”

Establish boundaries Experts agree that it is a parent’s right and responsibility to set boundaries for children and teens, including healthy limits on video game play. As with other media, parents need to choose video games wisely. Parental controls for game consoles and computers help parents restrict what games their children play based on age-based ESRB ratings. They may also consider limiting where their child can play. Moving the video game console out of the child’s room and into a common area of the house keeps parents tuned in to what their child

is playing, and makes it harder for a child to choose games over sleep. With games that promote social and interactive play, and encourage fun physical activity, parents might find themselves drawn into their children’s games. “Allowing your child to teach you how to play a video game is a great way to build your relationship and share interests.” Olson said. “As with any activity a child is interested in, parental involvement and guidance can help a child get the greatest benefit from it.” Source: ARA Content

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From Page 24 agnosis, although it ultimately decided against doing so. The AMA Council on Science and Public Health wrote in a report that what could be considered video game addiction bears the most resemblance to a gambling addiction. A child is often in a sedentary state while using video games and computers, which can lead to health problems such as obesity, upper-body muscular-skeletal disorders and increased metabolic rate, according to the report. Some studies also suggested a correlation of video games to attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, a counselor at Issaquah Family Counseling, said a child’s dependency on electronics can strain the parent-child relationship, resulting in arguments. “It becomes a big power struggle,” she said. Kuntz said parents should use family meetings to discuss the problem, and provide incentives for straying from electronics. Incentives could be an extra play date or a later bedtime on a given night of the week, she said. Goble said parents should be sure to replace electronics with relationships when usage is a problem. “It needs to be relationship

with parents, relationship with friends,” she said. If a child is having difficulty balancing such relationships, counselors can help. If you see your child beginning to fall into heavy video gaming or use of electronics, try inviting him or her outside to throw a ball and show him or her that such activities can be more fun, Goble said.

Healthy alternatives Once a child reaches 9 or 10 years old, encourage him or her to find a sport to play, or encourage him or her to learn an instrument. Sports increase physical activity and instruments make strong neural connections in the brain that increase dexterity and coordination, she said. Maya Andreics is one parent who has taken advantage of these tactics. Her son, Kai, is in first grade, and her daughter, Seana, is in third grade at Challenger Elementary School. “The rule is they have to play piano first, and then they have an hour to do whatever they want,” Andreics said. After finishing playing piano, Kai takes to “Super Mario World” on the Wii, and Seana plays “Webkinz,” in which players care for virtual animals. If a child isn’t interested in music, offer to let him or her choose the instrument, and he or she will likely be more excited about the new venture, Goble said. When a child reaches 11 or 12 years old, he or she may develop an interest in writing, another healthy activity. To avoid bad habits with electronics, set rules and stick to


PAGE 27 N O V E M B E R 2010 them, Cash said. Being inconsistent will beget whining, which the child will continue to do until getting what he or she wants. Also, set time limits on usage, monitor what websites he or she visits and consider requiring homework to be finished before allowing any usage. The AMA, in accordance with the American Council of Pediatrics, recommends limiting electronics use to one to two hours per day and prohibiting violent games, which increase aggressive behavior. Kuntz said another option is to allow a child to play a video game for a fixed amount of time, then require any further video game time to be educational.

The opposite problem While limiting time using electronics may be something many parents need to do, some parents may find themselves with the opposite problem, such as Chris Hensen. Hensen said he gave his third-grade daughter Elliott, who attends Challenger, a Nintendo DSi for her birthday, but she never showed much interest in it. He said it was disappointing, given the hand-held console costs about $150. “She played it like two days,” he said. Still, he said he uses bookmarks on his computer to give Elliott and his two younger

Even if your children do not take much interest in video games or other electronics, be sure to maintain open communication to keep your bond strong, which will help you address any problems that could arise. children access to games on websites such as Nickelodeon when they want to play. He said this method also allows him to monitor what sites Elliott and his two younger children visit. Regardless, he said the electronic draw hasn’t been particularly strong. “They’re not too interested in the games,” he said. Even if your children do not take much interest in video games or other electronics, be sure to maintain open communication to keep your bond strong, which will help you address any problems that could arise. “That relationship is everything,” Goble said about the parent-child relationship. “It really, truly is.”

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Why online learning can be a good option Today's middle and high school students, the "iGeneration," are the first to crave and benefit from on-demand education — choosing where, when and how they want to learn. The iGeneration (the "i" stands for "information") has never known life without the Internet, instant messaging or choosing and watching content at home, in the car, at a football game or while at the mall. Parents and educators are looking at how to rewire schools to match how the iGeneration learns.

Online classes create new options Taking classes online is one way to give middle and high school students (and their school districts) new options to learn using preferred tools in a familiar environment. Through online learning, students can even experience enhanced, oneon-one relationships with educators. Whether they're in need of more assistance, looking for a wider range of classes or simply prefer to learn in a medium that they have grown up with, online learning can be a great way to fit your child's needs. A recent study by Aventa Learning found that compared to traditional learning environments, online learning is an effective way to teach students

who live in a world of customized, instant feedback. Online learning offers a challenging curriculum, as 72 percent of online students spend three or more hours on homework per week versus 56 percent of students in traditional schools.

Online learning can be tailored to student needs With online learning, teachers are able to provide a more individualized learning experience and tailor curriculum to meet each student's ability and learning speed. In fact, 54 percent of online students report feeling appropriately challenged when they are doing well in school versus 49 percent of students in traditional schools. Online students also receive more attention from teachers, as 58 percent of online students get more help when they fall behind versus 40 percent of students in traditional schools. The survey also found that online learning creates students who are more committed to attending college, as 78 percent of online students have more interest in attending a four-year college after graduation versus 67 percent of students in traditional schools.

Hybrid learning programs Students are increasingly able

to take online classes in partnership with their local school districts that are facing severe budget cuts, school closings and a reduction in faculty. A recent study released by the Center on Education Policy found that 68 percent of districts expect their total budgets to decrease for the 2010-11 school year and three-fourths anticipate cutting teacher positions. To combat this problem, these school districts are turning to online classes to ensure their students have access to highquality curriculum and instruction. They use online learning programs to supplement classroom instruction or to offer classes for which they have no teachers, Advanced Placement classes for students who excel and credit recovery options for students who struggle. In fact, today 1 million children are learning online, either part time, full time or between school terms. Additionally, more than 20 percent of schools and educational institutions around the country offer online classes today, and that number should grow by another 30 percent within a couple of years,

Source: ARA Content

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By Adam Eschbach

Gymnastics instructor Jen Cook works with Miya Nakata on the balance beam at Gymnastics East, an Issaquah institution for 30 years.

Is your child ready for sports? By Bob Taylor

How do you decide when the time is right?

yan Fleisher had a hunch her daughters would become gymnasts. Almost as soon as Mikayla and Raelynn were able to walk, they would enter the living room and perform their version of a gymnastics meet for Ryan and her husband. Both daughters have grown up around gymnastics as their mom is Issaquah High School’s gymnastics coach and also an instructor for the Gymnastics East program. Mikayla, 11, and Raelynn, 8, both are in competitive gymnastics now after beginning in an introductory program. Fleisher said she believes it’s advantageous for children to

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get involved in some kind of physical activity at an early age. She’s not alone in that belief. There have been several national studies that maintain children who get involved in physical activity early and have a nutritious diet are more likely to lead healthy lives. It is believed that people who are active while young will be active as adults. If done correctly, organized sports can be beneficial, providing a framework for children to play in a safe and healthy manner. The question for many parents is when to start their children in organized sports. According to a study by the National Center for Sports Safety, there is no definite age or magical sign marking when a child

is ready to participate in organized sports. Each child and sport is different, making it, by necessity, a case-by-case decision. Fleisher said she believes it’s important for children to get started in some kind of introductory program before embarking on a competitive program. Gymnastics East, for example, has an introductory program for children 18 months to 3 years of age. The Issaquah Swim School also has an introductory program that starts with children 6 months of age to 3 years. Issaquah Parks and Recreation have a variety of programs for children age 3 through middle school. One of the popular programs is the


PAGE 31 N O V E M B E R 2010

Get your kids into the game

File

Ryan Fleisher, Issaquah High School's gymnastics coach, sits on a beam that she once competed on during her high school days. sports sampler, where children ages 3-5 get the opportunity to try a variety of sports. For instance, fall activities include soccer, T-ball and basketball. Some organized programs like the Issaquah Little League start at age 5 with T-ball. The program is structured so that players can steadily develop their skills. The Issaquah Gliders running program begins at age 5. For other organized programs, like lacrosse and football, children should be at least 6. Fleisher said the United States Gymnastics Association won’t let children take part in competition until they are 6. “The USGA believes that children younger than 6 aren’t able to handle the stress and the pressure of competition,” Fleisher said. Many national studies

show it’s important for children to be examined by a physician before getting involved in organized sports. Fleisher said she believes sports have had many benefits for her girls. “My kids have turned out pretty healthy and are wellrounded. Being involved in gymnastics, they are learning time management,” Fleisher said. “They not only have time for practice, they have to set aside time for homework. Kids who are involved in sports usually turn out to be good students.” Fleisher added one other important aspect of sports. “Kids have to have fun. Whether it‘s gymnastics, football, debate or chess, it‘s important for kids to have fun,” Fleisher said. “If my girls weren’t having fun, they wouldn’t be in gymnastics.”

When it comes to improving academic performance, boosting self-esteem and teaching social skills, few things beat team sports. Sports give kids the opportunity to get attention and respect, and to use the natural skills that come with youth, like speed and coordination. According to one survey of 2,185 children conducted by The Women’s Sports Foundation and Harris Interactive, kids who played sports or who participated in activities like Frisbee, camping and hiking felt healthier and more confident about their bodies than those who did not. Other studies demonstrate that children who are active in sports perform better in school and are less likely to use drugs as young adults. Of course, sports can have a downside. Overly competitive leagues, discouraging coaches and injuries from unsafe practices can quickly turn kids away from sports. So, how can you make sure that your child has a positive experience? Here are some tips: ❑ Make sure your child is mature enough to participate. In general, kids aren’t equipped for the rules and cooperation required in team sports until age 6 or 7. But each child develops differently. Don’t push children if they’re

not ready. ❑ Make sure that the league or coach emphasizes fun. If you ask children why they want to play a sport, they’ll probably say that they want to have fun or make friends. No matter their sport of choice, make sure that your child’s enjoying himself or herself. ❑ Don’t stress winning over everything else. Extreme competitiveness overrides any sportsmanship your child would otherwise learn. Focus on personal markers of success, not the league championship. You can reward your child for playing a sport even if his or her league does not. You can order your own trophies and present them for a job well done, whether that means making the winning hit or simply putting in a good effort. ❑ Don’t force your child to specialize too soon. Few kids are going to get sports scholarships; instead of trying to turn your child into a baseball or basketball star, let him or her try out a variety of sports. Some children are never going to enjoy sports. Instead of forcing kids into an activity that they don’t like, find another physical activity, such as track, cycling or hiking, that they can enjoy. Source: NewsUSA

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PAGE 32 N O V E M B E R 2010

Seven reasons to get children involved in sports Encourage fitness and a healthy lifestyle Making exercise a part of your child’s life teaches your child the importance of fitness. This, along with proper nutrition, plays a vital role in maintaining health. Children need physical activity every day and participation in sports helps fill this need. With today’s wealth of video games and increasing computer literacy, daily physical activity is often forgotten. Getting children involved with sports helps them make exercise a part of their lifestyle and increases their chance of being healthier adults.

Promote self-esteem When children realize they are getting better at their sport, they can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment. Choosing a sport your child can grow and improve in gives your child an opportunity to build self-esteem. Together, with positive reinforcement from you, children will gain confidence and have a more positive view of themselves.

Learn goal setting I’m sure you’ll agree goal setting and success go hand in hand. Participation in sports

gives your child a fun, practical way to learn about goal setting. They’ll see, experience and learn how goal setting works. If your child’s coach doesn’t cover goal setting, that’s OK. You can sit down with your child and set goals. By assisting your child in developing this skill, you give him or her a better chance at succeeding in life.

Learn about and experience teamwork How often have you read a help wanted ad where the employer wants a “team player” or a candidate that “works well with others”? How much more valuable are you as an employee when you can put differences aside and get the job done? Sports teach children about teamwork and about how their actions affect other people. If they can’t learn to work together with teammates while playing a sport they enjoy, how will they be able to work with co-workers they may or may not like while performing a job they may or may not enjoy? This is an important lesson to learn. Encourage your child to be a team player and, as a sports parent, keep tabs on whether or not your words

and actions promote this trait in your child.

Develop time management skills Adding extracurricular activities to your child’s schedule encourages development of time management and prioritization skills. Teach your children that taking care of responsibilities, such as school work and

cleaning up after themselves, comes first. This gives them their first taste of prioritization. Next, help your children formulate a plan that enables them to efficiently handle their responsibilities while still leaving time for sports practices and competitions. For example, show your children how working on homework instead of playing

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PAGE 33 N O V E M B E R 2010 outside during their afterschool program helps them finish their homework in time for practice each day. Then, go ahead and make that part of your plan.

Learn about dealing with adversity Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has problems. How well you handle these mistakes and problems directly affects

happiness and quality of life. Many people “get in a slump” and can’t get out of it. Others continue making the same mistakes over and over again. Even professional athletes make bad choices and make bad plays, but it’s not the mistake that counts. What you do from that point forward carries much more significance. If your children learn how

to deal with adversity, errors and challenges in sports, chances are, they’ll be able to translate that skill to real life and effectively minimize mistakes and/or bad decisions, as well as competently recover from set backs.

Have fun Positive experiences play an essential role in raising a happy, healthy human being.

Sports provide numerous opportunities for positive experiences both for your child as an individual, and for your family as a whole. “Sports parents” are blessed with the chance to watch their child have fun while learning and developing as an athlete and as a human being. Source: www.y-coach.com

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PAGE 34 N O V E M B E R 2010

Parents: Make time for healthy choices Between soccer practice, piano lessons and homework, more parents are discovering that it can be hard to balance a healthy life with a busy one. Health care professionals, however, are discovering that nutrition- and activity-based habits, when developed early, can make a positive long-term impact. So, what can you do to get your children’s habits on track and moving in a healthy direction? ❑ Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid for kids online (www.mypyramid.gov) to see what your children need in their diets each day. Did you know, for example, that grains and vegetables should make up the majority of your child’s diet? ❑ Don’t forget the vegetables. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that while preschool-aged children consumed about 80 percent of their recommended fruit servings a day, only 25 percent had

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Getting children involved in preparing food can help them make healthy choices. the recommended amount of vegetables. So, it is important

for parents to creatively re-introduce vegetables, and change

things up by choosing vegetables in a range of colors.


PAGE 35 N O V E M B E R 2010 ❑ Check ingredients. Ingredients such as whole grains and foods with oils derived from corn, soybean, canola and olive oils are good picks. Meanwhile, foods and beverages with caloric sweeteners as top ingredients should be avoided. ❑ Get moving. Have fun outdoors. Whether it’s taking a walk together with the family dog or playing catch, get moving as a family. ❑ Limit television and computer time to encourage your children to spend more time being active. And while all parents should be advocates for their child’s health, proper nutrition and activity is even more important for survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. These children are among those in the higher-risk population for obesity, according to health care professionals. Good choices can lead to better health and may reduce the risk of preventable cancers in adulthood. Get more information about healthy habits for survivors at www.beyondthecure.org. Source: NewsUSA

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PAGE 36 N O V E M B E R 2010

How to prevent a common childhood foot problem Parents can prevent one of the most common childhood foot problems by following some simple recommendations. Foot and ankle surgeons say ingrown toenails are a condition they treat frequently in children. Surgeons say many kids hide their ingrown toenails from their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain. The problem is that ingrown toenails often break the skin. That allows bacteria to enter and cause an infection. Tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect toenail trimming cause most pediatric ingrown toenails, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. In other cases, children may inherit the tendency for nails to curve. FootPhysicians.com provides parents these recommendations: ❑ Make sure children's shoes fit. Shoe width is more important than length. Make sure that the widest part of the shoe

matches the widest part of your child's foot.

❑ Teach children how to trim their toenails properly.

Trim toenails in a fairly straight line. Don't cut them too short. ❑ Never try to dig out an ingrown toenail or cut it off. These dangerous "bathroom surgeries" carry a high risk for infection. ❑ Have a qualified doctor treat a child's ingrown toenail. A minor surgical procedure can eliminate the pain and often prevent the condition from coming back. A foot and ankle surgeon may prescribe antibiotics if there's an infection. One thing parents can do to reduce their child's pain is to soak the affected foot in roomtemperature water. Then, gently massage the side of the nail fold. Learn more about ingrown toenails in children at www.FootPhysicians.com. Source: ARA Content


PAGE 37 N O V E M B E R 2010

Hearing loss treatment is critical at an early age Hearing loss is a subject often overlooked in the early development of a child. Whether ignored or unrecognized by a parent, misdiagnosed by a pediatrician or simply too unaffordable to correct; children are the ones who suffer the most. According to a national study released by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), an estimated 1.4 million people under the age of 18 have some form of hearing loss-that's approximately 1.7 percent of children. Only 12 percent wear hearing devices. Based on objective studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the BHI believes the figure could be as high as 15 percent due to early exposure to noise. That means many parents are not aware that their child has hearing loss. In some cases, pediatricians mistakenly say the child's hearing loss is untreatable. However, even when doctors and audiologists suggest a hearing device, parents can still be hesitant and often minimize the impact of the child's hearing loss. When a child's hearing loss is recognized within the educational system, often the only treatment is front-row seating, which for many is inadequate. National research also shows that 50 percent of parents do

not pursue detailed testing when their infant fails initial hearing screening at birth. Most parental concerns come from either the stigma placed on a child and how others will perceive them if they wear hearing aids or from financial matters. The BHI strongly suggests that parents need to realize the importance of the early detection and treatment of hearing loss and the resulting benefits. So, why should steps be taken early when it comes to hearing loss in children? The following key developmental factors are compromised when a child has an uncorrected hearing loss: speech and language development, academic competence, social skills, emotional health, self-esteem, relationships with family members and cognitive development. Early identification and correction of hearing loss would allow the child to grow and learn competitively with his or her peers and therefore develop into a productive human being. For more information on hearing loss, its evaluation and treatment, recognizing signs of hearing loss in children and prevention of hearing loss, visit www.betterhearing.org. Source: NewsUSA

The early stages of a child's development can be greatly affected by hearing loss. NewsUSA


PAGE 38 N O V E M B E R 2010

Saving for college in troubled times Across the country, families are making every hard-earned dollar count. But even as belts tighten, making a child’s education a priority has never been more important. The benefits of college can be significant: The College Board’s 2007 report, Education Pays, found that a typical bachelor’s degree can mean increased earnings of more than 60 percent. That translates into $800,000 more, on average over a 40-year working lifetime, than the typical high-school graduate will earn. In today’s economy, many families might not be able to save much for college. However, taking a pro-active approach of saving over time will eventually add up. “Modest contributions may not seem like much,” said Liz

Robinson, vice president at Upromise Investments, “but every penny counts when it comes to saving for college.” Here are three ways to “save smart” for college: 1. Save in the right place. A number of investment accounts make sense for college savings; 529 college savings plans, for example, were designed specifically for this purpose. There are state-sponsored 529 plans that offer federal, and in some instances state, tax advantages. Although families are not required to invest in their home state’s plan, they should consider them before investing. 2. Start early. Parents of teenagers already know this, but college comes in the blink of an eye. It’s relatively easy to set up a 529 account; it can take about 10 minutes to get

signed up and activate an account using a plan’s website. 3. Don’t go it alone. Inviting family and friends to contribute to a child’s 529 plan is a great way to boost your savings. And, with new online tools, it can be done simply and securely. Ugift, for example, is a service offered with certain 529 plans that

lets account owners invite family and friends to mark celebrations with gift contributions to a child’s 529 plan account in place of traditional gifts. Learn more about 529 college savings plans and Ugift at www.529.com. Source: NewsUSA


PAGE 40 N O V E M B E R 2010

Activities await in community clubs Boy Scouts of America Troop 609 Issaquah David Marsh 785-9379 David.e.marsh@comcast.net www.troop609.com

Girl Scouts Area managers

❑ Julie Wendell — juliekw@girlscoutsww.org, 6141126 ❑ Teresa Woods — teresaaw@girlscoutsww.org, 614-1126

School coordinator Nancy Campi — nancycampi@comcast.net, 746-5002

Middle schools Carol Stamper 313-1954 carol.stamper@comcast.net

Elementary schools Apollo Raelynn O’Connor, 228-4338 raelynn6@hotmail.com

we3bike@comcast.net Briarwood Nancy Julius 277-1659 njjul@comcast.net Cascade Ridge Susan Sansing susansing@comcast.net Challenger Sandi Dong 557-1914 sandi.dong@comcast.net Clark and Issaquah Valley Teri Sytsma 391-3400 terisytsma@comcast.net Cougar Ridge Andrea Trinneer 641-1215 andrea@trinneer.com Creekside Athena Angelis 392-7911 athena.angelis@gmail.com Discovery Kathy Slocum 427-8104

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Endeavour Lisa Peters 427-9416 xtap1@comcast.net French Immersion School of Washington Kelly Bowne-McCombs 235-4265 leithandkelly@comcast.net Grand Ridge Kristen Roof-Valladres 427-8280 valladevils@hotmail.com Maple Hills Ann Frizzell 614-1126 the4frizzells@comcast.net Newcastle Michele Havery 206-618-7445 sum_k-3_su444@comcast.net Sunny Hills Becky Gilbert 313-5008 rebecky1@comcast.net Jenell Tamaela 369-9650 jenell1973@comcast.net Sunset Nancy Campi 746-5002 nancycmapi@comcast.net

4H Clubs

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Blue Ribbon 4-H (goats/sheep/swine) Darlene DeBruyne Debruyne1@comcast.net

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PAGE 41 N O V E M B E R 2010

Mt. Si Sidekicks (horses) Maria Miller mariagm@comcast.com

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Eastside Rabbit and Cavy Club Mark Fredrickson Erc4h@comcast.com

Pet Partners 4-H (dogs) Helen Henry hhenry@lwsd.org

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Early financial education offers better security later Recent studies about Americans' retirement saving behavior point to an alarming trend: Americans of all ages, ethnicities and social groups are not sufficiently saving for their retirement. "Most personal financial experts agree that when people reach their mid-30s, they should be already saving for retirement," said Suzanne Poole, executive vice president, retail sales strategy and distribution, TD Bank. "However, according to a financial literacy poll TD Bank conducted this summer, a major reason for poor retirement planning and lack of financial literacy in general by consumers, is the absence of financial education at an early age." TD Bank surveyed 2,160 consumers in the Northeast, Florida and mid-Atlantic.

About 81 percent of those surveyed wished they would have started saving earlier, and about 55 percent of them feel they were definitely not taught enough when young. Here are a few suggestions for parents wondering what they can do to teach children to manage money and understand the importance of saving: ❑ Become a role model. According to TD Bank's survey, more than one-fourth of consumers struggled to identify any financial role models. Parents need to do their best to have their finances in order. Once they do, they should sit down with their kids to go over the process of balancing bank accounts and developing a household budget. ❑ Use a piggy bank. Saving coins in a piggy bank is one of the most basic tools parents

can use at home to begin teaching their kids about saving. ❑ Take kids to the bank. Visiting a bank should not be for adults only. Many financial institutions have unique features inside their locations that can make banking fun for kids. ❑ Open a savings account. One of the best ways to teach children healthy financial literacy skills is to go through the process with them of opening their first savings account, making their first deposit and explaining to them what all of it means. ❑ Enroll in financial literacy programs. With thorough research, parents can find pro-

grams in their area that offer financial literacy training. They should first check with the schools their children attend and their local library. After that, parents may consider finding out if their bank offers such a program. For example, TD offers a fun program named "WOW!Zone" that helps children ages 5-18 develop strong financial skills. It is available online at www.tdbank.com/wowzone. Trained bank instructors are also available to visit schools and afterschool and weekend programs for free. Source: NewsUSA


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